GEN0013_FC_Metalist-NUFCThe draw for the last 32 of the Europa League has been made and NUFC have been handed a draw against Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv.

Considering who Newcastle could have faced, the level of difficulties the other British sides face in their next couple of rounds in Europe,  and the fact our group winners Bordeaux have drawn Ukrainian opposition anyway and then have to get past Benfica potentially – this draw has been very favourable to us. Apart from the obvious huge travelling arrangements needed to go and watch from a fan’s point of view, from a purely footballing perspective, nobody associated with NUFC should be complaining.

However, speaking of travelling to go and see the match in the east of Ukraine potentially brings up a nasty subject in football. Racism. If you watched the BBC Panorama programme before Euro 2012 got under way, you will have seen one of their reporters travelled to Ukraine for one part of the programme to show a football match between two local rivals. What happened in this match was that a section of home fans were targeted, beating and kicked out of the stands by other home fans. For reasons of which that can only be explained because of the colour of their skin.

Newcastle fans will be travelling to this stadium on the 21st of February to watch their team hopefully go through to the next round of the Europa League. So what should they be expecting once they do so?

Racism towards our black players from the stands? Racism against themselves if they are anything other than white? Who knows. The threat of racism on both counts, or even violence, cannot be ignored as it is clear the country of Ukraine has a serious problem with it and that very football club, in that very stadium, cannot deny it doesn’t go on.

I am sure the subject will come up countless times from now until we play them at their stadium on 21st February. As for now, let’s just look at the draw from a purely footballing point of view and it isn’t that bad.

With the next round to be competed against either Anzhi or Hannover, I will take that over what our group winners Bordeaux’ next opponents will be, in the shape of either Benfica or Leverkusen.

The fans who could find themselves in Russia not long after coming back from a trip to Ukraine may not agree with me.

One thing is for sure, you will never see a mackem at Metalist.

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GToon 5pts

The worrying thing about all of this is how we are everybody's dream team. We help Everton who can't win at home to their best performance. We reinvigorate Rooney and make their team look great. We then make Chelsea look that good that I honestly can't think how many players they could have gone down to before we stood a chance. Now let's get a few things straight.

Maclaren needs the sack. No discussion, no arguments. Sack him or get relegated.

Arrons is not a left back. He isn't even that good.

Sissoko has given up and needs to be dropped.

Coloccini needs to be dropped. He is that slow it's almost embarrassing.

Taylor is two stone overweight.

And as for that clown Tiote. In most of the games I have seen him play he is the oppositions best player.

Brendan Rodgers, Buck Rodgers, who cares. Any of them could do a better job. Even I could. At least we all have eighteen days off before the misery continues. Let's just hope Ashley realizes now is the time to do the right thing. Surely he understands that there is something lacking in the tactics when teams who are struggling against other opposition have a field day against us. It's happening time and time again. Time for change.

Sickandtiredstill 5pts

Seriously lads, just how bad does this need to be before everyone accepts the facts? Schteeve is a complete duck egg. Once again he set up to try and not lose rather than trying to win or at least force a draw. 

Never mind Aarons - the experienced 'pro's' were again shocking. Sissoko and Gini should be sent to the U21's and not allowed to return until they learn some passion, desire and commitment. Tiote again showed just how bad he actually is 99% of the time.

Schteeve confirmed just how bad he is 100% of the time. 

SimonM68 5pts

Tripe. Worst goal difference of anyone around us and 45 mins left.  At least would like to see Doumbia get some game time into his legs as he may be crucial in the games to come. Can't see any other possible benefit from the next 45 mins. Then again, I did walk out at 0-4 Arsenal lol. 

Alsteads 5pts

Let's just go down. Some more of this next season? No thanks. Surely FCB has got to pull the trigger. He is on par with JT FFS

Big Al 1967
Big Al 1967 5pts

17 minutes in and three down FFS. Yet again a gutless performance away from home with our supposed leader on the pitch Captain Colo backing off every time Chelsea attack. No doubt McClaren will want a 'reaction' yet again from these useless clowns next time